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EJ Manuel: "No nerves. I was just excited to be out here"

Posted May 10, 2013

QB EJ Manuel

Friday, May 10, 2013

Q: How did it feel out there?

A: First off, it felt great to be back with a team. Through the pre-draft process, you get so used to doing things on your own or with guys who are training and things like that. But today, it was a real practice. Strap it up with cleats and a helmet back on. It was a great feeling.

Q: What about those cleats? Are they special Bills cleats?

A: I don’t think so. I think they are team issued.

Q: When the Bills worked you out privately in March or early April, you said they spent a lot of time on your footwork. It seemed like an extension of that out there today. Can you talk about that?

A: I think that was one of the biggest things we worked on today. I’m sure we’ll continue to work on the footwork up into the pocket and things like that. And do it how Coach Hackett wants me to do it.

Q: Does it feel natural to you, what they’re telling you to do?

A: When you’re doing something different at school for five years and then you come here and do something different, it’s a little different. But at the same time, it is still football. So overall I thought we had a great practice today.

Q: Any nerves?

A: Not really. No nerves. I was just excited to be out here.

Q: You threw some deep balls down the sideline. Did you feel good about airing it out a little bit?

A: Oh yeah. The fact that I have Marquise Goodwin on my team now, I have to get used to that, just letting it go because sometimes you want to just be perfect. But with that guy you can just throw it out there. All the receivers can run, but definitely Marquise.

Q: Do you think about pulling the trigger a little earlier or you’re not worried about overthrowing them?

A: No, I’m not worried. With Marquise, I don’t think you can really ever overthrow the guy, so you would rather be long than short.

Q: How did you think WR Robert Woods did today?

A: Rob did a great job, always seemed to be open and ran great routes.

Q: You guys seemed to have some early chemistry. You were looking his way quite a bit. Is that fair to say?

A: Definitely. You want to get the playmakers the ball and that’s what we did today.

Q: He joked that you two hit it off already back when you guys were going to workouts.

A: We actually had the same visit at the Jets, so we were able to hang out pretty much the whole day or two days. It’s just crazy that we ended up on the same team, so instantly we texted each other and we were happy about it.

Q: Did Coach Hackett tell you to do anything in particular with your footwork?

A: It’s all predicated on the pass concept, just pairing the footwork with the passing play. It’s a lot you have to remember. It’s the first day, but I thought overall, like I said, the whole team did a good job.

Q: When did you get in to town?

A: I got in to town yesterday afternoon.

Q: When did you get to the facility today?

A: Today I got here I want to say at six. We all got in at six in the morning. We’ve been in meetings all day.

Q: When did you get the playbook for the first time?

A: I got the playbook after I got drafted.

Q: Were you able to take that home at all?

A: Yes. I’ve been drilling it like crazy. Coach Hackett said to look over it, but obviously he wants to coach it his way to Jeff (Tuel) and I. We pretty much went from square one today and just went to work.

Q: How do you stop from getting ahead of yourself? Everything has got to be going so quickly. How do you rein yourself in and slow things down?

A: Coach Hackett sets it up that way. That’s why he’s offensive coordinator and I think he scripted practice just so Jeff and I could get used to what he wants us to do. Get used to the footwork, get used to playing and throwing routes against a defense and things like that.

Q: How many plays did you have today?

A: We had 15 plays or so. It wasn’t just for me. It was for everyone. Everyone is trying to learn. Everybody is trying to get accustomed and get back playing football.

Q: On if he worked with quarterback coach George Whitfield:

A: I didn’t. I worked with Ken Mastrole. I did work with George when I was in college.

Q: You certainly worked up a sweat.

A: Oh yeah, I’m a sweater. But it felt good. Good to be back out here.

Q: What have you been doing the past couple of weeks?

A: After the draft and after I left Buffalo, Coach Marrone told me to go home and spend some time with my parents. Then I went back to Tallahassee to get some more work in before I came back here.

Q: How many steak dinners did you eat pre-draft?

A: Pre-draft, it was nice. It was a nice perk of the visits.

Q: Did you add weight?

A: Not really because I still found time to run on the treadmill or try to work out before the visit started.

Q: How many visits did you make?

A: Four or five. I know some guys had like 15, so I was lucky to not have that many.

Q: With Mother’s Day coming up, what are your plans?

A: I think the draft was kind of an early Mother’s Day for all of us. I’m happy my mom was able to enjoy that with me. She was able to talk on the camera and stuff like that so that was cool. But I’ll definitely just send her a card. Obviously my dad and sister who are home will take her out to dinner. But just call her up. She knows I’m at work, so she understands.